Ben and Pat Abruzzo - Albuquerque, NM
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member neoc1
N 35° 11.750 W 106° 26.034
13S E 369462 N 3895702
A plaque commemorating the accomplishments of balloonist and businessman Ben Abruzzo and his wife Pat Abruzzo is located on top of the Sandia Mountain Tramway in Albuquerque, NM
Waymark Code: WM1A4F9
Location: New Mexico, United States
Date Posted: 06/18/2024
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member pmaupin
Views: 0

The bronze plaque is set at eye level on a tall, square column of rocks opposite a boardwalk leading down from Sandia Peak Visitors center to the Ten 3 restaurant on Sandia Mountain. The plaque is inscribed:

  Ben Abruzzo        Pat Abruzzo
1930 - Rockford, Illinois        1932 - Rockford, Illinois
1985 - Albuquerque, New Mexico

Ben Abruzzo was one of those rare individuals who undertake great enterprises – adventures of the human spirit which ennoble us all.

In business, and in association with others – especially Robert Nordhaus, his achievements included the development of the Sandia Peak Ski Area, the Sandia Peak Tramway and the Sandia Heights sub-division at the base of the tramway.

But, his unique achievements were in a dimension beyond business. In 1978, he flew with Maxie Anderson and Larry Newman in the “Double Eagle II” and made the first successful balloon crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. In 1981, flying the “Double Eagle V” with Larry Newman, Ron Clark, and Rocky Aoki, Ben crossed the Pacific Ocean in the only attempt ever made to do so in a balloon. These pioneering voyages rank among the great feats in the history of aeronautics.

Pat Abruzzo, beloved wife and mother, was an indispensable partner in these achievements and a co-venturer in spirit. Not only did she provide a strong and loving family environment, but her confidence in Ben’s abilities and her unfailing support and encouragement in the face of risk made the conquest of risk easier.

In this place whose beauty and vistas inspired them and which was a source of their strength and happiness, they are remembered with deepest affection…and pride.

{Image of the balloon Eagle II}

Ben and Pat Abruzzo died on February 11, 1985 when the Cessna 421 airplane he was piloting crashed near Albuquerque, NM.

Website with more information on either the memorial or the person(s) it is dedicated to: [Web Link]

Location: Top of Sandia Mountain Tramway

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